Most of the features of the Phone app on the iPhone are pretty straight forward. For example, you can add any contacts to your favorites list by opening a contact and tapping on “Add to Favorites” and then select the corresponding number. If you want to redial that last dialed number, tap on Keypad and tap the green Call button. The last called number will appear in the display.
But there are some additional features that are not quite so obvious. Here are 4 of them:
When you have the Keypad active, you can tap and hold in the section above the keypad where the phone number appears to reveal Copy and Paste buttons. This is helpful when you need to copy a number to start a text message or when you need to paste it elsewhere on your iOS device. You can also copy a number from somewhere else on your device and paste it into this space. Just copy the number from wherever else it is and open the Phone app and tap and hold above the keypad to reveal the Paste button.
Occasionally there is a need to add special characters to a number as you are dialing it. For example, you may have wondered how to enter the “+” symbol when dialing international number. There is a simple way to do this. If you look at the number zero on the keypad, you will notice a little plus below it. If you tap and hold on the zero, the “+” symbol will be added to the number.
The same goes for the “*” and the “#” keys on either side of the zero. If you tap and hold the “*” key, a comma will be entered into the phone number. This is equivalent to a couple second pause. It is helpful if you have a phone number with an extension that you need to dial. Just dial the number, enter a comma or two, then enter the extension. Then, when you tap call, the number will be called, there will be a few seconds of pause, and then the extension will be automatically dialed.
If you press and hold the “#” key, you will get a semi-colon. This is also helpful to automatically dial an extension but the extension won’t be dialed until you tap the Dial button again. This will ensure that you can enter the extension at a precise moment.
Both of these symbols can be programmed into a phone number in your contacts as well. When entering a number into a new contact or editing an existing contact’s number, just tap on the “+ * #” button to insert a plus (+) for international numbers, or a pause (,) or wait (;).
When you are in an active call, you can either mute the call (so your voice can no longer be heard) or you can put the call on hold (you can’t hear the other party and they can’t hear you). To Mute a call, simply tap the Mute button. To place the call on hold, tap and hold the Mute button for 2 seconds. When you let go, the button will change to reveal that the call is on Hold.
An easy way to dial a number is using Siri. Simply say, “Dial” and then dictate the number you want Siri to call. This is especially useful for 1-800 numbers on a brochure or on the back of a credit or debit card or other numbers that you don’t have programmed into your contact list.